Liverpool need to sign a marquee striker this January to give themselves a stronger chance of gaining Champions League and keep them on the tails of the top teams.
The Reds are currently in a ‘transition’ season, understandable given that they have lost Luis Suarez to Barcelona and Daniel Sturridge to injury for much of this season. The pair were integral to the side that nearly won the Premier League last season, and with Mario Balotelli still adapting to life in England, reinforcements are clearly needed.
At one point this season 1,000 collective League minutes had passed by for Balotelli, Rickie Lambert, Fabio Borini without scoring, something a club of Liverpool’s stature need to address quickly to avoid being left behind.
Lambert is an honest professional who will accept not playing every game, making him an ideal squad player, though nothing more. Meanwhile Borini’s career at Anfield appears to be all but over, while Balotelli is undoubtedly talented but is still finding his feet.
The Reds are certainly trying, having pursued Alexis Sanchez and Loic Remy in the summer, with the latter failing a medical, while also reportedly looking at strikers such as Benzema, Falcao and Cavani.
Liverpool must approach the reminder of this January transfer window in seeking to provide a top-class striker that can partner Daniel Sturridge in this new-look Reds side.
The summer signings Brendan Rodgers has made have been widely maligned, but in fact if you look at recent events Lazar Markovic, Alberto Moreno and Emre Can, for example, have all improved with time and adjustment to the English top flight.
The Reds have the core of a squad that, with a top striker, a replacement for Gerrard (James Milner on a free from Manchester City would be handy) and a goalkeeper could be comfortably back in the top four and not far off challenging for the Premier League title once again.
One would expect Liverpool to improve as this season continues and they adjust to their new circumstances, both tactically since losing two top strikers and players improve. However, if their strikeforce is wholly dependent on Sturridge it appears a Champions League place will be difficult, though not impossible, to gain.
One argument is that having spent so much in the summer, Liverpool should wait until the end of this season to assess their spending options. However, if the new striker scores goals that gain them Champions League football next season, that is £20m of revenue effectively back in the coffers, so what are they waiting for?
A top striker like Karim Benzema or Higuain can be the difference and by helping them claim the top four finish that currently looks so unlikely, can allow Liverpool to attract a higher calibre of talent in the coming off season.
There are various high-profile strikers who could fit the bill for Liverpool, and they should have enough history, tradition and funds to attract them if they so wish, it’s now a matter of this idea becoming reality.
Both Cavani and Higuain in particular appear set to leave their respective clubs soon, and would be worth the investment to get Anfield rocking once again.